11:57, 12 November 2018
By the end of the next decade, almost 11 million children under the age of five are at risk of dying of viral or bacterial pneumonia worldwide. This is derived from an analysis of scientists from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, and the Save the Children Help Organizations, published on the World Day to Combat Lungs.
In developing countries
While in industrialized countries, mostly elderly people develop pneumonia, children are mostly developing in developing countries. Only in 2016, more than 880,000 children, most of them under the age of two, died of illness, a study reported. Based on the previous figures, some countries in Africa and South Asia are likely to be among the worst affected countries. Nigeria and India, for example, account for 1.7 million deaths due to pneumonia in young children, 700 000 in Pakistan and 635 000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
At the same time, the authors of the study emphasized that many fatalities could be prevented by relatively simple measures. For example, better coverage of vaccination, cheap antibiotics and good nutrition for children could save 4.1 million people.
Despite knowledge and resources
Kevin Watkins, head of the Children's Rescue Department, said it was amazing that "every year almost a million children die from a disease that we have the knowledge and means of conquest." For pneumonia, unlike other dangerous diseases, they are "without rosy loops, world peaks or marches". "But for anyone who takes care of children's justice and their access to basic health care, this forgotten killer should define the care of our era," Watkins said. Among other things, prices for existing bacterial pneumonia should be reduced dramatically.
Also from malaria, diarrhea and measles
Every year more children die from pneumonia than malaria, diarrhea and measles together. The goals of sustainable development of the United Nations by 2030 include also the "end of preventable deaths in children". In 2005, 125 serious pneumococcal infections were recorded in Austria. In 2017, there were 545 patients in all age groups. In 2012, Austria included pneumococcal immunization in the vaccination program against children. It uses a vaccine that protects against more than ten types of bacteria. All adults over 50 years of age, but also chronically ill, are usually advised to take the vaccine. In pharmacies, discounted vaccines are currently under way.